In This Moment: A Memoir of 5 Minutes

This post is linked up with the Red Dress Club’s memoir prompt, which asked: “imagine that after you have died and your daughter/son will be given the gift of seeing a single five-minute period of your life through your eyes, feeling and experiencing those moments as you did when they occurred. What five minutes would you have him/her see? Tell us about them in the finest detail.”

Your small, but deft fingers dug into my arms with persistence, and I could feel the rhythm of your heartbeat quicken against my chest. I pressed my lips against the warmth of your flushed cheeks, as if to lend you strength in the form of a constant kiss.

“I love you, my sweet,” I whispered encouragingly. “I’ll keep you safe.”

Your trembling frame stiffened in protest as I tentatively held you away from the safety of my body, swaying you this way and that, as the lukewarm liquid caressed us, summoning us to let go, relax, and repose.

The tight line of your mouth began to slowly unseal, and I gazed in anticipation at the tip of your tiny, pink tongue emerging to explore a minuscule droplet of water hanging daintily from your full, bottom lip. This diminutive action seemed to trigger a wave of vigorous spirit that visibly undulated through your body.

Your magnetic, blue-green eyes brightened and widened, locking with mine as I tried to convey the hopes of my heart with a single look:

I love you. Be free. You can do whatever you put your mind to. Give yourself this happiness.

And then, as if my gaze had sent you a lightening bolt of vigor, you extended your darling arms and legs to explore the sea of sparkling blue surrounding you. You lifted your head high as you maneuvered yourself gracefully through the water, needing only the palm of my hand now for support.

Your mouth widened into a gaping, gummy smile, and you let loose an ear piercing squeal of delight. My heart melted as I felt the warmth of pure happiness fill me – the kind of lucid and unadulterated happiness that was merely mythical to me before there was a you.

I lifted your body, which now trembled with excitement rather than anticipation, and helped you to stand on the concrete wall surrounding the blue abyss. You stood firmly, with your head held high with glorious contentment. You looked left and right with dignified pleasure, as you noticed that the bodies next to you were those of much older children.

I interrupted your reverie as I asked you if you were ready to take the plunge. You responded with a smile and an animated shake of both hands.

Again, I lifted your body, this time taking a moment to examine your face high in the air above mine. You were looking at me with nothing short of glee, and in this moment, I felt tears of pride and joy prick the backs of my eyes.

In this moment, I felt a higher awareness that even fifty years from now, a flash of this moment will be my heart and mind’s indelible picture of you.

In this moment, I knew the words that I hope you will hear me saying in your heart and your mind throughout your life:

I love you. Be free. You can do whatever you put your mind to. Give yourself this happiness.

I Thought I Knew Mama will always remember this 5 minutes of her son’s first swim class when he was seven months old.

Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama


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